It could be said that it is a bit late to talk about Sydney Biennale 2016 as it is heading towards the end. But what I found about this Biennale is ‘Time and Arts ‘. Art works have required for the viewer to have patience and observe the works which changed over a period of time. Otherwise we only see the part of the works, not the whole.
Charwei Tsai’s ‘Spiral Incense Mantra’ has been burning and disappearing in Mortuary Station. Lee Mingwei’s ‘Guernica in Sand’ has been swept and changed it’s appearance in Carriageworks. Taro Shinoda’s ‘Abstraction of Confusion’ has been peeled off and cracked, showing the time trace in Art Gallery of New South Wales.
Those essence of time and space were magnificently created by Korean artist Ahn Kyuchul in the exhibition ‘Invisible Land of Love’ in National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in 2015. In ‘The Pianist and the Tuner’, a pianist plays the same piece of music at same time everyday and a tuner removes one piano hammer a day. At the end of the performance, there would be a complete silence.
Time is a constant change and relative. Futurism said that if we stay in space, we go backwards. In this Biennale, Justine Wiiliams recreated the Russian futurist opera ‘Victory over the Sun’ which I missed. Kazimir Malevich’s Suprematism art work ‘Black Square’ is originated from his stage design of this opera. Through Suprematism, he explained the significance of pure feeling in creative art. I found agreement on this visual feeling in art works not requiring hundreds of words to explain. This oil painting ‘Black Square’ has been cracked as time passed and changed which Malevich didn’t intend. This engagement with time and art work made me connect visually Taro Shinoda’s ‘Abstraction of Confusion’ and Kazimir Malevich’s ‘Black Square’.
Performances art is a great medium to experiment with this concept of time. ‘In Memory of the Last Sunset’ is initiated with Neha Choksi’s installation and completed as a piece of work with the performance of Alice Cummins over the certain period of time. This combination of visual element and the transient moment of performance can be seen on Korean avant-garde artist Lee Kun-Yong’s works. He marks the performance with his physical painting. His body and mind is the brush of his painting, holding the moment of that time.
Perhaps it is too early to say about the Biennale as it has not finished yet and I need to attend to see one more performance in June. Perhaps I already talked too much.